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What you can do
You can make a difference – whether you are an individual or a group.
Join the listserve, where actions by our sister campaigns and by WLUML will be regularly posted. You can sign up to the listserve here, by entering your email.
Support initiatives of groups in your country to improve laws so that they protect women and girls from gender-based violence and promote gender equality.
Find out if your government is a State Party (in other words has signed and ratified) the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
- You can check at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/states.htm
- If your country has ratified CEDAW, they are obliged to submit official reports. When your country submits their report, you can submit a Shadow Report to the CEDAW Committee.
- To find out more about this process please see: International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) + IWRAW Asia-Pacific
Help monitor, document and investigate cases where women and girls are violated in the name of culture, religion and tradition. These violations may have been committed by State personnel or private individuals or groups. Bring this to the attention of your government or of groups actively working on those issues.
Reach out to the media. Make them aware that respecting culture is not about condoning discrimination and abuses of women and girls justified as ‘cultural’ or ‘religious’ practices. Push the media to recognize the need to make clear distinctions between misuse of religious texts and/or abuses by individuals considered religious leaders, the faith itself, and the dangers of sweeping generalizations about believers of a particular faith.
Build Alliances to strengthen the campaign:
- Enlist the support of progressive individuals and groups, including religious scholars, leaders, and authorities in your community to speak out against the (ab)use of religion, culture and tradition to justify violence against women for violating ‘norms’ of sexual behavior.
- Encourage such allies to engage the public and speak out against these practices.
- Share your information with other organisations addressing these issues in your national context.
- Share successful strategies and experiences and encourage others to get involved and take action. Email the VNC Campaign at email@example.com with your stories.
Alert the relevant United Nations offices, particularly the Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts, assigned to monitor and receive reports about human rights violations. You can visit the websites of Special Rapporteurs and other UN human rights bodies to learn about their mandates, and instructions for submitting reports and information.
Click the links below to learn more:
- The Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences
- The Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
- The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
- The Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
- The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
- The Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
- The Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity
- The Independent Expert to update the Set of Principles for the protection and the promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity
- The Independent Expert on Minority Issues
- The Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
- The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
- The Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights
- For specific cases, you can download and fill in the special reporting forms from the websites listed above and send them to the UN Rapporteurs yourself. We would appreciate receiving a copy of your letters and reports, or if you would like to remain anonymous, you can send your completed forms as an attachment to the our Campaign at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and the campaign will forward your information.